There is a long history in American politics that the losing party, particularly after a horrifying loss like America suffered this week, spends some time blaming, finger-pointing, and generally falling in upon itself. It's part of the grieving process and it must be expressed and worked through by those who own the defeat, a group that includes most of us who are now quietly forming the loyal opposition.
I plan to spend one stint at the computer commiserating on my party's miserable performance at the polls last Tuesday. While much of that travesty is rooted in things beyond the boundary of the modern Democratic Party - America's continuing racist fervor, for instance - a fair share of the blame emanates from within. We are, after all, a party of jackasses.
Today's column will focus on a couple of areas where I believe my party, the Democratic Party, screwed up. I will air those grievances, succinctly and with malice aforethought, and after that I will shut up and go back to mowing and gathering eggs.
The following things pissed me off, and, I believe, helped to cost Democrats the election and put a lunatic in the White House:
Democratic National Chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz and Vice-Chair Donna Brazile failed to remain neutral during the nominating process. Wasserman-Schultz was active in limiting the number of primary debates and arranging those debates for times when fewer people were likely to be watching - strategies thought to have been for the benefit of Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders. Donna Brazile, who became interim party chair after Wasserman-Schultz was forced to resign the chairmanship over her attempts to rig the nomination, was later discovered to have given the Clinton camp access to debate questions before at least one of the debates with Sanders. When her unethical activities became public knowledge, CNN fired Brazile.
Debbie Wasserman-Schultz is going back to Congress where she will have to work and survive in the mess that she was instrumental in creating. Donna Brazile will never be regarded as a competent journalist again.
Hillary Clinton, who took the nomination through questionable tactics, owes a significant portion of her loss to political incompetence. Clinton, instead of focusing on votes, always had her eye on fundraising totals. She seemed to equate dollars with votes, and that just did not pan out. Also, her laser focus on the swing-states, most of which she ultimately lost, kept Candidate Clinton from touching down in the flyover states. Lots of us felt ignored as Hillary rushed from North Carolina, to Florida, to Pennsylvania - and back again. A few courtesy stops in red states might not have put her over the top in the Electoral College, but they would have certainly generated votes and added to her lead in the popular vote.
Missouri's senior senator, Claire McCaskill, also deserves a mention. Claire, who is well known for sticking her nose into political races and issues in other states, spent much effort raising money via email-begging for candidates beyond Missouri's borders. I only recall once, in fact, when I received a plea from Claire to help fund a Missouri candidate. The amount of resources that she pulled from the "Show-Me" state, most ultimately spent in vain, could have gone a long way toward helping Chris Koster become our next governor and sending Jason Kander to join Claire in the U.S. Senate.
That's it. Those are my recriminations.
I'm done now.
Live and learn.
It's time to pick up those ruck sacks, get back in line, and resume the march. The road ahead is even longer and rougher now than it was just a few short days ago. But keep putting one foot in front of the other and plodding along because ultimately good people must prevail.